Alasdair Gray and Elizabeth Blackadder among the luminaries at Glasgow Print Studio's 40/40 show
The studio celebrates 40 years with prints by 40 artists, including Toby Paterson, John Byrne, Martin Boyce and Alison Watt
This is more than just a group show, it’s a history lesson to accompany a seminal strand of Glasgow’s rich art heritage. Opened in 1973 by original director Calum Mackenzie in a disused factory unit on Ingram Street just as businesses were leaving the area, the studio helped set out the stall for what’s since been branded ‘Glasgow’s Cultural Quarter’. In the years which followed, the now defunct Print Studio Press would go on to publish work by Liz Lochhead, Edwin Morgan and James Kelman, as well as Alasdair Gray’s first book The Comedy of the White Dog in 1979.
It was at GPS that Gray would create the lithographs for Lanark, and he continues to work there to this day. He’s just one of the 40 emerging and established artists (both GPS members and invitees) who have created new works from scratch for the King Street venue at the request of director John Mackechnie, a roster which also features Elizabeth Blackadder, Martin Boyce and John Byrne.
‘The works range from “Deep Inside” by Jim Lambie, exploring the last words of Aldous Huxley before he died of an LSD overdose, to the brooding darkness of “Nocturne”, a new etching by Ken Currie which was inspired by a news story of deer being hunted and killed in the Necropolis cemetery,’ says Claire Forsyth, GPS workshop manager.
40/40 also contains a few exclusives such as the GPS’ first ever print from Alison Watt and the only Toby Paterson work known to contain people. ‘One of the most interesting parts of the project for me was seeing how each artist approached being invited to make a print,’ continues Forsyth. ‘Some of the artists work in a very sequential way and making an individual print was very much a continuation of their practice. Others welcomed the chance to explore other ideas that hadn’t found a natural home previously and would translate well into print.’
Glasgow Print Studio, until Sun 13 Oct.